LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany – BASF's Coatings division inaugurated a new, world-scale automotive coatings plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Caojing, Shanghai, China. The €140 million project is an extension of the existing automotive coatings plant, a joint venture between BASF and Shanghai Huayi Fine Chemical Co. Ltd. This expansion will further enhance the company's local production and better serve the growing automotive market in China and Asia-Pacific.

In 2016, 48.6 million light vehicle units were produced in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for 52% of global production. "The global automotive market is expected to continue to grow significantly, with China as the biggest driver," said Dirk Bremm, President of BASF's Coatings division. "The inauguration of this new plant in Shanghai will help us to support the growth of our customers and take an active role in developing the Chinese automotive market."

The facility will be a production hub for solventborne and waterborne coatings, and is closely connected to the company's existing infrastructure for automotive coatings, resins and electrocoat production as well as R&D laboratories.

The new production site is built to serve the Chinese automotive manufacturing market, and will meet developing industry needs. These include the transition from solventborne to waterborne coatings and from standard primer processes to integrated processes. These reduce overall energy consumption of paint shops thanks to new functionalities of BASF's coatings solutions. "Our solutions are researched in our labs, simulated and tested in our spray booths and application centers, and finally produced at our new plant. In this way, we combine the scientific research power of our Innovation Campus Asia Pacific in Shanghai with close proximity to our customers," said Peter Fischer, Senior Vice President, Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific, BASF.

The new plant will produce thinners, primers, clearcoats and waterborne basecoats. It will be supported by a new automotive application center providing automotive manufacturers access to advanced R&D facilities, including a 3-D robot for coatings application at the BASF Innovation Campus Asia Pacific (Shanghai), by end of 2018.